6 Things You Should Know About Vitamins

Jan 21, 2009
1. Vitamins do not cure the diseases

Vitamin supplements are often believed to be a miracle cure for different illnesses including common cold, cancer, depression and heart disease. Vitamins are essential for normal development and proper metabolism. However, vitamins cannot be used instead of drugs but they are necessary during an illness when the body is deprived of nutrients. And in some cases, the additional supplements of vitamins can be harmful for health and worsen your condition.

2. Overdose of vitamins can be toxic

Many people think that taking more vitamins is good for their health. In fact, the numerous stuidies showed that some vitamins taken in excess can do more harm and even increase the risk of mortality. For example, fat soluble vitamins such as A,D, E and K can be stored for a long time. When they are accumulated in high amounts, this may lead to negative consequences. The overdose of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects and may also lead to nausea, hair loss and sometimes death. The excess of vitamin C can lead to diarrhea, headaches, nausea and disturb the balance of other nutrients like iron. You should also be careful with iron, zinc and selenium supplements.

3. Some vitamins should not be taken together

Some interactions between vitamins may lead to its poor absorption. For instance, iron supplements do not go together well with zinc and may also interfere with absorption of vitamin E. Calcium impedes the absorption of iron that's why they should not be taken together.

4. Some vitamins should be taken together

Taking some vitamins without its companion may be absolutely ineffective. For example, iron should be taken with vitamin C for better absorption, while calcium supplements should be taken with magnesium. Some vitamins when taken isolated do not have its beneficial effect, like vitamin D that works together with calcium. Vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folic acid make a good companion.

5. Vitamins will not substitute a healthy diet

It is known that the best way to provide your body with vital vitamins is through food. While doctors claim that nowadays food doesn't have the right amount of vitamins, eating vitamin supplements instead of vegetables and fruits is not the best thing to do. In food, vitamins usually occur in a balanced combination, which contributes to its better absorption. For example, provitamin A usually is found in food that also contains other caratenoid companions, helping to get the best of this vitamin. Besides, some food components that have its beneficial effect on our health are not fully understood.

6. Some people should avoid certain vitamins

Also not everyone can take vitamins as they may worsen your health condition. For instance, too much vitamin C is dangerous for people with diabetes. The study conducted at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis showed that high doses of vitamin C for older people with diabetes increases the risk of coronary artery disease. People with thyroid hyperfunction, diabetes, hypertension should be careful with vitamin E. Those who were diagnosed with kidney stones or cancer should not take calcium supplements .